Okay. I don't really want to be paid in gum. I used to have such empathy for those commercial people, lamenting (not so much in words, but by their hangdog expressions) that they were so put-upon, being paid by conventional methods, never in gum.
What I really meant to say was...Nobody ever pays tribute to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom with a tattoo.
Roundaboutly, on our trip Friday from the bill-paying town to my mom's house, stuffed to the gills with Rally's tasty fries, The Pony revealed a revelation that stabbed me in the back like a knife through the heart, cutting me to the quick.
I say roundaboutly for a reason. We were literally in the middle of a roundabout at the time. Okay. Not quite literally, because nobody should be in the MIDDLE of a roundabout, especially a T-Hoe being steered by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. That's for those big semi trucks, the scofflaws, who mark up the two bricked roundabouts in our neck of Hillmomba. Apparently, the big semi trucks in my mom's neighborhood stay on the road path proper. Or else they don't go there, because she's not on a hub between a quarry and a highway.
So we had just passed a tattoo shop, lest you go thinking that Mom lives in some genteel neighborhood where folks obey traffic laws and get gussied up in church finery to have their chauffeurs cart them to gourmet food shops for some Grey Poupon, and don't have their flesh flayed by inky needles all willy-nilly.
"Hey! Pony! You can go there for your first tattoo!"
"Um. I will NEVER get a tattoo."
"You sound so sure."
"I DON'T want a tattoo."
"Let's pretend. If you got one, what would it be?"
"I can tell you one thing. It would NOT be a heart with the word 'MOM' in it!"
"Ohh...that hurts. You could have been a bit more diplomatic about it. Like just leaving it at 'I don't know, because I will never get a tattoo.' How about that? Did you really have to single out your loving mother as untattooworthy? Seriously. The questions was, 'What kind of tattoo would you get?' Not, 'What kind of tattoo would you NEVER get?' See there?"
"Um...I just wanted you to know."
I guess he didn't want to give me false hope.